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preparing for your baby is possibly the scariest most rewarding thing on the planet.
I mean what’s the little thing gonna be like?
What toys will they like? What colors? Are all the cute cowboy and cowgirl outfits gonna stay hidden in the closet after one disastrous outing to the zoo?
Times this by a million if you’re a first time mom…like little old me…*nervous laughter….
SO! I did what any newbie would do, and turned to the experienced moms for their best advice!
Below you’ll find some kick-a** tips from moms who have been there, done that when it comes to prepping for baby.
They talk about topics like:
Second Child Tips
& Mental, Emotional, & Spiritual Tips for your new little one!
So read on you sexy pregnant thing you!
organization & finances
make a to-do list
The one thing that helped me prepare for my baby, was to make a list of everything that I needed to buy or do and divide it up by the remaining weeks. I started this in my third trimester and it took SO much pressure off. I printed out a calendar and stuck it on my fridge so that my husband and I could both use it, and then gave myself deadlines to accomplish certain tasks. Not only did I get everything done, but I also didn’t feel overwhelmed by everything to finish either.
I’m a mama that loves wine, coffee, and baby snuggles trying to make it through this crazy adventure called motherhood.
2. look into supplementary insurance
I wish I had organized a supplementary short-term insurance that would provide our family with extra cash to help ease the financial stress of a mom out of work and on maternity leave. My husband definitely can take care of us, but it is more of pride on my side. It would have been nice to have something like that, don’t you think?
Donna Mortellaro is a mother to 2 spunky toddlers and a wife to a busy farmer/rancher. She works as a laboratory scientist in a community hospital 40 hours/week plus 1-2 weeknight and weekend calls. She has an online baby store called The Upward Blip and she writes everything related to parenting and baby on the blog section of it. Check her out!
3. pre-make smoothies for postpartum
Having an abundance of premade smoothies packed full of greens, ripe fruit and healthy nuts and seeds was a LIFESAVER for me post-delivery. The dense nutrition helped me regain my energy but remained easy to digest. I make extra for the freezer and take one out to thaw 24 hours ahead of time, or put a few in a little cooler to take along with me!
I'm Gessell. I love feeding my family healthy food and sharing my adventures in the kitchen. I keep all of my recipes gluten-free and refined sugar-free, and many of them are also raw, vegan, and Paleo-friendly.
4. create high fiber meals for postpartum
I cannot emphasize enough having a freezer stash of meals!!!! Before the baby came I made foods high in protein and fibre especially (think postpartum poops oh man) so I had enough for a full month. I also divided up meals so I had full suppers for us, but also put some in ziplock bags for my husband to take to work since he had to go back in a few weeks. It made it so much easier with the exhaustion of it all! Also, if someone comes and offers help, don’t be stubborn like me and ACCEPT IT. You’ll need all the help you can get. It takes a village!
Breanna is a first time mom to a little girl, she is an ESL teacher, a job coach, as well as a mommy blogger.
5. stock your freezer with easy-to-make meals
Get prepared for meal time. Brainstorm 15-20 easy-to-make meals and stock the fridge, freezer, and pantry with those ingredients. Think frozen pizza, frozen chicken, freeze homemade soups and chilis, etc. Also stock up on frozen or canned vegetables and canned fruit for sides to keep it a little healthier! Just get anything for those days you just want dinner on the table ASAP without needing to spend any effort on it.
Samantha is a stay-at-home mom to her 3 year-old and newborn. Her website Journey to SAHM features tips on parenting and delicious recipes.
take the step-by-step free challenge to “prepare for baby” the 1 stop shop for all things baby arrival prep!
we talk about:
what to do with your husband
how to deal with family & visitors
& much more!
Second baby tips
6. prepare for some regression
If you are expecting for the second time around, prepare yourself for possible sleep regression and bed-wetting as your firstborn is having some challenges adjusting to her/his new role in the family. Even with prior constant talks and training, having a new baby sibling in the house can be stressful for them. Prepare your mom heart as well not to get too overwhelmed and do not hesitate to ask for help. Watch out for possible signs of postpartum mood disorders like anxiety and depression as they’re common after the second child is born.
Mai started The Cheerful Nomads in December 2018, as an outlet for postpartum [recovery]. She blogs on anything encouraging to moms with the same daily struggles.
7. prep activities for old kids
Make sure older children do not feel left out while mom heals and gets to know new baby by creating 7-10 quiet, relatively mess-free activities for siblings. This can include art and craft activities, new books, a fun snack, or learning activities. Package these activities into kits and if you find yourself in a jam with all children needing you at once, pull out a kit and set up an activity for the older children. You can sit close while caring for baby and the older children will feel connected with mom and excited to do a new activity.
Wife and working mom of two (and one on the way). Blogger sharing tips for organizing life and helping moms simplify motherhood.
emotional, spiritual, and mental Health
8. prepare yourself emotionally
An area of preparation for baby that often gets forgotten is emotional preparation. As a survivor of abuse, I was not prepared for how having a baby impacted my mental health. 1 in 4 women have a history of abuse and for many of them the birth experience and/or breastfeeding can be triggering.
If you have a history of abuse or prior mental health challenges, I highly recommend developing a relationship with a therapist during your pregnancy so you already feel comfortable with someone before baby arrives.
They can help you develop a post partum plan (like a birth plan but for the first few weeks after baby) and give you a specific idea of what warning flags for YOU may look like. The more support you have in place now, the easier it is to draw on that support post partum if you need it.
I’m a childbirth educator with a special focus on survivors of trauma and abuse. I help women have a positive, empowering birth experience even if things “go wrong.”
my favorite books on trauma:
9. know that other types of postpartum mental health issues exist
Most of us have heard of postpartum depression, but the truth is, that isn’t the only mental illness a new parent can develop. One in five new moms will be affected by a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). My number one tip for preparing for your new baby is to read about ALL of mood and anxiety disorders that can affect new parents and familiarize yourself with some of the signs so you know when you need to reach out for help. Research local therapists who have a background helping moms struggling with these illnesses and find out where your local support are before you give birth.
Emma is a stay-at-home mom of two boys (and another on the way!). She’s an Awareness Raiser, advocating for maternal mental health and food allergies.
10. meditation & grounding yourself
Take every chance you can get to meditate and to ground yourself - you can do this while breastfeeding, or while baby is asleep, or even while baby-wearing! (Wraps are AMAZING!) Grounding will help you to think clearer and not be overwhelmed by all the inevitable (well-meant) advice from friends and family, and to help you overcome any unexpected challenges [such as "OMG I forgot to buy wet wipes!" at 2am ;-) ] Meditation may also assist with regulating your hormones, and alleviating PND symptoms (if there are any).
I assist ladies who are battling to conceive, with "Energetic Fertility" and Conscious Conception, connecting with babies in spirit, as well as human form.
For related reading see: 11 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR BABY WITH YOUR PARTNER OR HUSBAND
The article continues below…
11. PREP FOR A NEWBORN BEFORE YOU START PREPPING FOR A TODDLER
Don't worry about preparing for a toddler when you're only bringing home a newborn. So many people worry about things like baby proofing or having ridiculous amounts of clothes before they bring home a baby. When you bring it home, your newborn won't be able to move around independently and will spend most of the day sleeping, so all you really need is a bassinet, pajamas, a few clothes, and a carseat. You'll have a while to figure everything else out and the changes come gradually. I'm not saying don't prepare, but don't stress or put too much pressure on yourself.
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder/unabashed digital nerd, PhD student/huge psychology geek, workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of 'stepmom' to a preteen and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid. Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
12. BE SMART ABOUT THE SPACE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE FOR BABY GEAR
Consider how much space you have for baby gear. It’s so easy to get carried away collecting all sorts of baby gear and baby clothes (especially if you have a pipeline of friends or family with free hand-me-downs). Just don’t forget you will need SPACE for all that stuff. Be smart about what you have room for and which baby gear you will actually need and will actually use. In the end, this will save you both time and money.
Jeanne writes baby registry, sleeping, and feeding tips for babies, toddlers, and twins on her blog Have Twins First.
13. DON’T BUY JUST BECAUSE OF BRAND
Don't over purchase on a specific brand of an item. I was so certain I knew what types of bottles and diapers my kids would use, but both kids have preferred different brands of almost everything. My son for examples wears Huggies and used Tommee Tippee bottles. My daughter Pampers and (after trying every bottle under the sun) only took the plain ole Medela bottles. Babies have their own ideas.
Meredith is a 30 something RN turned SAHM of two littles. Join her as she finds grace in the messy side of motherhood over at www.motherhoodbymeredith.com
14. stock up on baby gear when you see sales!
Why you shouldn’t stock up nappies and bottles? We are all about saving money. This would mean we stock up on these items when it’s a great sale, right? Let me tell you why not stocking up can actually save you tons of money. Babies come as tiny humans, they are all just like us. From the moment they are born, they have what they like and what they don’t. Not everything works for every child, just like we as adults have our different taste and items we love and hate.
Hey! I’m Nikki K, a first-time mummy - expecting twins. I’m a professional nanny, but never took care of newborns. Come and join our challenging journey!
Join the hundreds of mommas before you and receive the step-by-step instructions on how to prepare EVERYTHING for baby:
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15. get a milk prep machine
If you’re not planning on, or are unable to breastfeed then buy a milk prep machine! We found, especially with twins, that it was an absolute essential. It saves so much time and makes it the perfect temperature for babies to drink straight away! It is the one thing we bought that we wouls recommend over and over again.
My name is Rebecca, first-time mum to identical twins. I am also creator of twin parenting website and blog, Living With Peas.
My tip is for those moms that plan to breastfeed, but may need to choose an alternative route. Even if you plan to nurse your baby, my advice is to become familiar with your breast pump and how it works.
My breastfeeding journey was difficult and nursing my sons wasn't the option for me. However, I did choose to exclusively pump and admittedly, with my first son, I went in blindsided by how tasking it truly can be. Do your homework when it comes to efficient breast pumps. Understand that you will have to pump very frequently to start a decent milk supply. And believe that you can, most certainly, do it.
Laura is an author and blogger over at The Postpartum Mama. In her spare time, she's a mom and wife.
Tell us in the comments sections below…what’s your #1 prepare for baby tip??